Summer in Kingston is a must


A Kingston summer is unforgettable. Not directly associated with the University experience, summer is often an underrated time to embrace young adulthood.

Spending the summer in Kingston means experiencing the best of Queen’s without the crowds and pressure of a full course load. It’s something every Queen’s student should do at least once.

From October to April, Kingston is dark, damp, and frigid, which makes exploring the city and surrounding area unattractive. Sure, there are great winter activities like skating on Lake Ontario or at Victoria Park, but it’s difficult to drag yourself outside in the cold. In the summer months, there’s more fun to enjoy, and students shouldn’t miss out. 

The summer weather reveals a different side of the city. Anyone can enjoy and relax at the many different beaches at their leisure, including the much less crowded Gord Edgar Downie pier. Students can hike in parks around the city, or simply walk and explore areas they never noticed while they were too busy with schoolwork.  

From May to August, the University District and downtown aren’t as crowded. Since roughly 95 per cent of Queen’s studentscome from outside Kingston, many of the University’s thousands of students leave the city for summer jobs before returning in the fall.  

This exodus means unnecessarily arduous activities during the school year are more reasonable: grabbing a coffee doesn’t take 30 minutes, you can easily find space at the ARC to work out, and lines for Kingston’s nightlife don’t extend around the block.  

While it can feel quiet at first, Kingston is by no means a ghost town in the summer. Plenty of students stay to work, to take classes or study, or simply because they’d rather be here.

With a tighter summer social circle, the people you meet become close friends: these friendships continue into the school year and make not only the summer more enjoyable, but also the overall University experience.   

Figuring out what to do about rent over the summer is often a point of concern for many students who leave Kingston. Whether they choose to search for a sublet or pay four months’ rent without living there, most students need a plan. 

Staying in Kingston over the summer removes the stress of subletting or fronting rent for four months for an empty place. If students are paying rent anyway, they might as well stay and take advantage of what Kingston has to offer. 

It’s a relaxing, formative, and fun experience everybody should have at least once. 

Here’s your sign to spend a summer in Kingston. 

Sandrine is a fourth-year Global Development student and The Journal’s Opinions Editor.

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.